The global climate has been deteriorating as the years go by. The climate change has adverse effects on agriculture, ecosystems, human settlements and water resources. It affects rainfall patterns, temperature changes and rising sea levels. The principle causes of climate change are caused by emission of carbon dioxide. The gas acts as an insulator or blanket trapping the sun’s energy and causing the earth to be hot. The Copenhagen summit was held in 2009 by a several countries including USA and China who are the largest emitters of greenhouse gas. Key issues emerged in the conference. The countries produced the Copenhagen accord to address world climate. The countries committed themselves to making an effort to reduce global emissions. A commitment was obtained from the countries although it is not legally binding document. Experts view this as a weakness in the meeting. The countries though urge the world to take it positively since it will cause a change in the world. This especially applies to the developed countries. The developing countries were expected to report their plans in reducing greenhouse emissions by January 2010. The developing countries were also to contribute almost $30billion and channel the money to the poorer countries. The contributions are to be dispensed between 2010 and 2012. A world climate fund was established to direct some of the funds to projects that aim to reduce emissions of gasses. Any projects established in developing countries will be monitored at an international level since they are being funded internationally. Third world countries would be given financial incentives to increase the rate of preservation of forests. This would serve to increase in rainfall in the third world countries.
The accord would be reviewed in 2015 to monitor the progress of the Accord. Targets would be adjusted depending on the progress made by that time. The accord further applies the Kyoto protocol principles. The protocol acknowledged that industrialised countries polluted the world more than developing countries therefore they have a higher responsibility. The climate change conference was important since the effects of deteriorating world climates on human health and the environment have been serious (BBC Editors, 2009). There are countries though that have opposed the Accord; mainly Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan and Bolivia. The agreement needs to be reviewed so as to reach the level where most countries have agreed to it. The world climate changes have had adverse effects on the Amazon forest in Brazil (Pyne & German, 2010). It is the world’s largest river yet it faces the risk of running dry. Although the country has experienced dry periods, scientists are saying that the droughts are becoming worse. The droughts are now more common and severe. The forest has been perceived to shield global warming however there is evidence it may not be able to continue doing so consistently at the same level. Amazon forest gives the world a fifth of oxygen and holds about 20% of the earth’s water. When drought persists more carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere.
The developed countries have greatly contributed to global climate change. The industries in the countries have been emitting gases in the atmosphere for years. China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. This has been the country’s status since 2007. It releases 8% more of carbon dioxide more than United States. Furthermore, the high levels of emissions by China and India are making the emissions cuts by the developed countries of no effect. China has the world’s largest factories thus the high levels of emission of gases. China during the Copenhagen agreement resisted a U.S controlled international monitoring system. It has however taken serious steps in reducing its emissions. It has embarked on a ten-year plan to ensure that about 15% of the country’s energy is from low-carbon dioxide sources (Dwinger, 2010). It aims to concentrate more on wind and solar energy. The country’s lawmakers are intending to introduce a carbon dioxide tax in the year 2012. The funds obtained through the tax will be used in projects that promote use of low-carbon energy sources. China is now the leader in investment in alternate sources of energy having pumped $33.8billion in such projects. For third world countries, they may not be able to cope with the effects of global warming. Research has shown that although the industrialised countries are the highest emitters of carbon dioxide the effects of global warming are felt most in developing countries. These countries are already grappling with issues of poverty, diseases and income distribution inequalities so they will not be able to handle global climate change effects. They do not have the technological capacity to address the issue (Basu, 2005)
In light of all these factors, the world needs to take even more serious steps in reducing global warming. As developing countries become more technology oriented they need to take care of which kind of energy sources they will be using. They have adequate backing and funding from industrialised countries to assist them use alternate sources of energy. The developed countries should follow China’s example and invest more or be more drastic in changes implemented in their use of energy.
Basu, P. (2005). Third World bears brunt of global warming impacts. Retrieved from
BBC (2009). Q&A: The Copenhagen climate summit. Retrieved from:
Dwinger, F (2010). Combating climate change: China’s contribution to the expansion of
Africa’s renewable energy sector. Consultancy Africa. Retrieved from:
German, E. & and Pyne, S. (2010) Amazon drought climate change. Global Post.